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Archive for July, 2017

Bollinger Unveils EV Truck Prototype

New EV entry has a top range of 200 miles on a single charge.

by on Jul.28, 2017

Bollinger Motors unveiled its all-electric prototype sport-utility/truck in Manhattan.

With their inexpensive motors and on-line sales, which lower the barriers to entry, electric vehicles have become a magnet for start-up companies.

Bollinger Motors, a U.S.-based company headquartered in New York, unveiled what it describes as the world’s first all-electric, on-and-off-road sport utility truck or SUT. The squared off utility vehicle is reminiscent of an early model Ford Bronco.

Clearing the Air!

“We are so thrilled to be able to finally take the wraps off of our Bollinger B1 SUT,” said Bollinger Motors’ Founder and CEO Robert Bollinger. “This is the culmination of what has been a 40-year-long boyhood dream of mine, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the vehicle and the incredible team who worked so hard to create it.” (more…)

Trump, GOP Kill Off Proposed Border Tax

Auto companies praise decision to eliminate much-maligned proposal.

by on Jul.27, 2017

President Donald Trump and House Republicans brought smiles to faces of auto executives with the move to kill the proposed border tax.

It appears the Trump administration has tabled plans to impose a “border” tax on good manufactured outside the U.S.

The much-maligned border tax was left out of a blue-print for tax reform released by administration and key members of the leadership in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives that are preparing a tax reform bill.

Breaking News!

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn jointly released a statement of principles reaffirming their commitment to passing substantive tax reform for all Americans. (more…)

Ford Motor Co. Celebrates 100 Years of Pickup Trucks

Henry Ford’s offshoot of the Model T is now best-selling vehicle in US.

by on Jul.27, 2017

Ford marked the 100th anniversary of its first pickup truck: the Model TT at its world headquarters.

Ford Motor Co. is marking an important milestone this week as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of what became the first pickup truck — the Ford Model TT.

Bob Kreipke, Ford historian, said nine years after introducing the first Model T Ford customers were asking for a vehicle that could haul heavier loads and provide greater utility for work and deliveries. Ford answered with the Model TT, which retained the Model T cab and engine. The Model TT came with a heavier-duty frame capable of carrying one ton of payload. The factory price was $600; 209 were sold that year.

More Then Just Numbers!

A century later, the pickup truck is perhaps the most iconic of all American vehicles. (more…)

Marchionne Hints FCA May Sue Former Labor Chief Over Alleged $2.2m Theft

A “most egregious breach of trust.”

by on Jul.27, 2017

General Holiefield, left, UAW vice president, and Alphons Iacobelli, right, former FCA union negotiator.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne spoke out angrily about the scam allegedly hatched by its former labor chief and three others to steal $2.2 million in labor training funds.

Describing the case as a “most egregious breach of trust,” Marchionne said FCA was considering filing a lawsuit aimed at recovering some of that money from former labor chief Al Iacobelli. The 57-year-old Iacobelli was named in a federal indictment handed down Wednesday, along with Jerome Dunden, a one-time financial analyst for the automaker. The scheme also appears to have involved a former executive with the United Auto Workers Union. Now deceased, General Holiefield’s widow was also charged by the government.

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The Journal of Record!

Echoing comments made by UAW President Dennis Williams, Marchionne sent a note to FCA employees on Thursday “expressing my disgust at the conduct alleged in the indictment which constitutes the most egregious breach of trust by the individuals involved.”

(more…)

Volkswagen Gets Diesel Fix Approval in US

Company reports global sales expected to rise for 2017.

by on Jul.27, 2017

Volkswagen got approval from the EPA and CARB to implement its proposed fix for its faulty diesel engines.

Christmas came in July for Volkswagen as it seemingly unwrapped good news about diesel modifications in the U.S. as well as its earnings and sales as if they were presents under the tree.

“Volkswagen is pleased that it has received regulatory approval to offer affected customers in the United States an approved emissions modification (AEM) for approximately 326,000 Generation One 2.0-liter TDI vehicles with automatic and manual transmissions,” the company announced today.

News Now!

The Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board approved an emissions modification proposed by VW that will reduce nitrogen oxides emissions from model year 2009–14 diesel Jetta, Golf, Beetle and Audi A3 vehicles. (more…)

What’s Gone Wrong With Jeep?

Iconic brand’s sales tumble – but is it just a temporary glitch or long-term setback?

by on Jul.27, 2017

A Jeep Cherokee body rolls down the newly renovated line at the Belvidere plant.

It is one of the most iconic automotive brands on the market and, until recently, Jeep could be counted on to deliver sales growth and a steady stream of profits to parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

So, what has gone wrong this year? Jeep volume was down 13% for the first half of the year, with the numbers off 11% in June, and another year-over-year slide expected to be revealed when July numbers are tallied up next week. While FCA reported strong second-quarter profits on Thursday, it took a solid performance by the maker’s other brands, including Maserati, to offset Jeep’s weak numbers.

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Beyond the Headlines!

The question is whether Jeep’s setback is a temporary one or something that could hurt it longer-term. The real test will come in the months ahead, especially once renovation work on the Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio is completed and production of the brand’s next-generation flagship Wrangler model begins.

(more…)

Fiat Chrysler Earnings More Than Double During 2Q, Despite U.S. Slowdown

But debt remains worry for analysts, investors.

by on Jul.27, 2017

A slowdown in Jeep sales has been worsened by ongoing shifts in production capacity.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles saw its second-quarter net earnings more than double, to $1.35 billion, with foreign demand and improvements by the Maserati brand offsetting weakened sales in North America.

FCA delivered earnings of $0.81 per share, well ahead of the $0.53 consensus forecast by 28 analysts tracked by MarketWatch. The maker’s profit margins reached a record 6.7% for the quarter, up a full percentage point, and margins climbed to 8.4% in North America, despite the slowdown in demand that has particularly weakened the Jeep brand.

More Then Just Numbers!

“It was a strong quarter,” Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer said in a conference call with analysts and investors. “With the progress we’ve made in the first half of the year, we are confirming our full-year guidance.”

(more…)

New Vehicle Sales Set to Drop Again in July

Subaru expected to buck trend and see sales increase.

by on Jul.27, 2017

While most automakers are expected to sell sales slip in July, Subaru is rolling right along with continual monthly increases.

New vehicle sales are expect expected to drop roughly 6% year-over-year in July as the industry continues a slow retreat that began last winter.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate or SAAR has now dropped to an estimated 16.7 million, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Sales News!

“The annual selling pace is expected to remain below 17 million SAAR in July with volume dipping slightly from the levels seen in May and June 2017,” said Tim Fleming, KBB analyst.  (more…)

Feds Indict Former FCA Negotiator Iacobelli, UAW VP Holiefield’s Wife

Pair and others charged with making and accepting illegal payments.

by on Jul.26, 2017

General Holiefield, left, UAW vice president, and Alphons Iacobelli, right, former FCA union negotiator.

One of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ top labor negotiators and the spouse of a now-deceased UAW vice president have been charged in connection with a conspiracy to give money and goods worth more than $1.2 million to officers and employees of the United Auto Workers.

Alphons Iacobelli and Monica Morgan, the wife of former UAW Vice President General Holiefield, were charged with violations of the Labor Management Relations Act, which is better known as the Taft-Hartley Act.

News Now!

The law is designed to restrict the activity and power of labor unions, but it also prohibits employers or subordinates from paying, lending or delivering money or other valuables to officers or employees of labor organizations. (more…)

UK Latest to Lay Out Ban on Gas, Diesel Vehicles

U.K. Conservatives act even as U.S. set to roll back mileage rules.

by on Jul.26, 2017

By 2040, London's streets will be home to nothing but Nissan Leaf's and other electric vehicles.

The United Kingdom will halt sales of new vehicles with diesel and gasoline engines by 2040 as a way to fight pollution, government officials have announced.

The U.K. is set to become the latest country to make such a move, joining nations as diverse as India and Norway, with several other countries considering similar bans. The action by the Conservative government of Prime Minister Theresa May comes even as Republican U.S. President Donald Trump’s Administration is reportedly set to roll back strict mileage rules set to phase in between now and 2025.

Beyond the Headlines!

Michael Gove, the British environmental minister, told BBC Radio that “we are confirming that that means there should be no new diesel or petrol vehicles by 2040.” (more…)